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 Ling 131: Language & Style  

Topic 1- 6 Round-up and Self Assessment > What is the self-assessment tool?

Analysing a whole poem
Stylistic analysis - an example of text
Doing a stylistic analysis - general instruction
What is self assessment?
Begin self assessment

Self-Assessment Tool (Poetry)

This is the first of three 'self-assessment' tools on this website. They are designed to help you practise the kind of analytical and presentational skills you need to produce a good stylistic analysis essay. So it is a sort of practice run at the coursework assessment you will be asked to do at the end of the course.

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You will be able to compare your efforts in various areas of analysis with those of some previous Language and Style students. After you have completed each task you should estimate roughly how many marks you think you would have been given if your work had been marked. Then you can compare your effort with that of one or more students who were actually marked at this level (and also, if you wish, with weaker or stronger attempts at the same task).

The marking categories we are using are:

30-39% 40-49% 50-59% 60-69% 70%+

In the Lancaster University Part I (first year) grading system, which this course most closely relates to, an overall 35% in a Part I subject is the grade you have to achieve for a bare Pass in that subject and 45% overall is the grade you need to achieve to be able to Major in a subject at Part II (second and third years). The majority of students normally achieve marks in the 50-59% category. If you get more than that you are doing really well.

This self-assessment exercise is devoted to the stylistic analysis of POETRY. The other two are devoted to prose fiction and drama respectively.

Important Note

If you are doing a stylistic analysis on a new text you would need to look carefully and systematically at all the linguistic levels exploited in the text and at all the stylistic approaches that we explore on the course. This is because you cannot know in advance what aspects of a text will turn out to be most important. However, because different texts exploit different linguistic levels and stylistic devices to differing degrees, some of these aspects may turn out not to be very revealing, and so they would only be included minimally (if at all) in a final 'write-up' of your stylistic analysis in the form of an essay. This point shows that there is an important distinction between the research you do for your essay and the essay itself. The research is done in order to enable you to write the essay. The essay will select the most significant aspects of that research, organise them into a structure that is most revealing, and present that information to your reader in a way that is clear, explanatory and helpful. The reading list for the course refers to a number of readings which give advice on how to do stylistic analysis for an essay. The ones we would most recommend for the stylistic analysis of poetry are:

Short, Mick (1993) 'To analyse a poem stylistically: "To Paint a Water Lily" by Ted Hughes. In P. Verdonk (ed.) Twentieth-century Poetry: From Text to Context, London: Routledge.

Semino, E. (2002) ‘Stylistics and linguistic variation in poetry’, Journal of English Linguistics, 30, 1, 28-50

McIntyre, Dan (2002) Doing Stylistics: An Analysis of '(listen)' by E. E. Cummings


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